Welcome to Alsace, Eastern-France and to Switzerland; two destinations which are close to each other, as different as complementary, when you are interested in gourmet adventures, scenic regions exploration, artistic activities, authentic art craft shopping, luxury hotel accommodation with spa, etc. Alsace and Switzerland are the reflexion of elegance, refined traditions and exceptional lifestyle through a prestigious historic heritage, quaint villages, and exquisite food. Corinne has designed this program, and she's delighted to conduct the tour personally for small groups up to 6 people.
With its 40 miles long by 16 miles wide, Alsace is the smallest region in France with a strong German influence. In terms of heritage and culture, with its villages of brightly-painted steep-roofed half-timbered houses, Alsace is definitely German. Colorful houses are today ornemental but in the past, each color had a significance. Town houses, which often had shops or boutiques on the ground floor, were painted according to the type of shop – bakeries in one color, butchers or shoemakers in another, and so on. You will explore Alsace from scratch including the majestic forests of the Vosges, Renaissance-style historic cities, and especially outstanding villages with half-timbered houses adorned with flowers, gabled roofs and chimneys topped with stork nests. The Alsatians are very dynamic to keep the traditions alive (Christmas markets in December, Brocantes (antique markets), numerous Winstub (typical restaurants offering traditional cuisine), art craft (cristal, home decoration), etc. Alsace is in the top-5 touristic destination in Europe for its superb wines and delightful cuisine
Lake Ganeva and Valais counties feature mesmerizing landscapes, rejuvenate lake environment lush vineyards and pastures, high snow-capped peaks, historic towns and villages adorned with flowers, visits to watch making artisans, excursion to Unesco listed sites. A two-day excursion aboard legendary Swiss train and Glacier Express allows you to discover Zermatt, the car-free village and luxury ski resort, and to admire the Matterhorn closer. But the payoff also comes in the jaw-dropping views that glide past you as the train descends down to 650 meters above sea level and then climbs up to 2033 meters in one sitting. All along your tour in Switzerland you will taste the best that this charming small country has to offer with exclusive cheese and wine tastings and Michelin-star restaurants experiences including Hôtel de Ville de Crissier awarded the best restaurant in the world in 2016. Wellbeing at the luxury Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey will be another highlight to this program.
Luxury Guest House & Hotel Accommodations
Alsace (5 nights) - The Schaeferhof is the ancient farm of the Prince-Abbots of Murbach, a beautifully renovated 18th-century sheepfold, home to Sylvie Bronner at today. With an exquisite taste, she has transformed the old farm at her image, offering 5 luxuriously decorated rooms and suites with en-suite baths and all modern amenities including multi jet massage shower cubicles or whirlpool baths, and also safe-deposit box, minibar, TV. Spa with sauna and fitness room at the guests disposal. Daily breakfasts are simply exquisite with home-made kugelhof brioches, cakes, fruit jams, and much more.
Switzerland (7 nights) - On the shores of Lake Geneva, close to Lavaux terraced vineyards listed as world heritage site by the Unesco, this timeless 5-star Realix & Châteaux Grand Hotel du Lac offers a unique universe celebrating the past of this historical residence combined with subtle contemporary flourishes. An intimate and serene setting, a fine gourmet cuisine at the restaurant “Les Saisons", local inspirations at the restaurant “La Véranda", a terrace with a panorama view of the lake at the “Marina", an outdoor pool and a Spa with Swiss Bellefontaine treatments offer moments of pleasure and relaxation. Our program includes the deluxe room accommodation with the lake view. There will be a one-night luxury hotel accommodation in Zermatt (Mont Cervin Palace).
City & villages walking & shopping tours : Strasbourg, Colmar, Ribeauvillé (popular thanks to Beauvillé table linens), Eguisheim, Vevey, Lausanne, Montreux, Berne, Thoune, Oberhofen, and Zermatt. You will enjoy market tour and shopping in Colmar, and antique markets in Orswihr and Colmar (June 25 TBC).
Visits and excursions to Kaysersberg and Riquewihr medieval villages in Alsace, to the Franche-Comté region (on the way to Switzerland). In Switzerland, you enjoy the quiet walks through Gruyeres, Thoune and Oberhofen-am-Thunersee lake villages. One of the highlight will certainly be the excursion to Zermatt aboard the panoramic Glacier Express. You will visit Zermatt old village and its unique architecture heritage of multi-centenary log farms with their sun-beaten wooden walls barns used for storing the grains, slaughter animals and dry the meat.
Gourmet adventures includes vineyards sightseeing, visit to wineries in both Alsace and Switzerland), visit to cheese farms and aging caves, enjoy a chocolate class and a visit to chocolate factory, partake a cooking class in Alsace at Le Schaeferhof to celebrate the very good local cuisine. Gourmet lunches and dinners at traditional and Michelin-star restaurants among the best in the world (Auberge de l'Ill nearby Colmar and Hôtel de Ville in Crissier have got the 3-Star award at the Michelin, the highest rank).
Artistic activities : A 3-hour water-color painting class is scheduled in Alsace to capture the most authentic scenery of picturesque village, half-timbered houses adorned with flowers with vineyards in the background…Anytime you could photography landscapes, animals in pastures, villages, gardens and flowers, local people, artisans, platted food creations in restaurants or during your class, etc.
Day 1 : Welcome to Alsace !
Transfer by private car to Murbach (about 30 minutes). Check-in. Resting time. Welcome aperitif and dinner at the guest house. Overnight.
Day 2 : Murbach / Auberge de l'Ill ***starred gourmet lunch / Brocante markets in villages.
After breakfast, walking tour in Murbach and visit to the abbey. Transfer to l'Illhaeusern. Gourmet lunch at l'Auberge de l'Ill Michelin-star*** restaurant. Afternoon walking tour through Orschwihr antique market and to Colmar flee market. Back to the guest house. Resting time. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3 : Alsatian villages tour & shopping / Afternoon painting class
After breakfast, transfer to Ribeauvillé. Walking guided tour and shopping (including Beauvillé table linen…). Transfer to Kayserberg. Walking tour and gourmet lunch at the 64° Michelin-star restaurant. At 2pm, meet Cesare the painter in Riquewhir or another beautiful village with its historic houses and flowers. Afternoon water color painting class. Transfer to the guest house. Resting time. Dinner at a local restaurant nearby Murbach. Overnight.
Day 4 : Full day in Strasbourg and north of Alsace.
After breakfast, transfer to Strasbourg through Gertwiller (the village is known for its exquisite ginger bread…). Walking tour in Strasbourg. Lunch at Michelin-star* 1741 restaurant. Afternoon visits to different artisan-designers (jewelry, fashion accessories, etc) located for example in Marmoutier, Urmatt, Erstein, Muttersholtz, Aubure. Back to the guest house. Resting time. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 : Colmar in the morning / Afternoon cooking class and dinner at Le Schaeferhof
After breakfast, transfer to Colmar. Morning open-air market tour and shopping. Transfer to Ammerschwihr (10km). Lunch at Julien Binz's (he got a Michelin-star award this year) . Transfer to Murbach through Eguisheim after lunch. Visit to Barmes-Bucher or Dirler-Cade winery producing one of the best organic white wine. Cooking class starting at 5pm at Le Schaeferhof. Sylvie runs the class which is private for you and celebrates the traditional Alsatian cuisine. Tasting food & wine pairing dinner. Overnight.
Day 6 : Transfer to Switzerland through the Franche-Comté region
Check-out after breakfast. Transfer to Switzerland, Vevey through the scenic Franche-Comté region which is famous for its cheese farms, watch makers, and other artisans. Lunch at l'Atelier de Donat traditional restaurant in Malbuisson (next to the lake). You will visit the stunning Fort Saint-Antoine cheese caves, as well as Obertino bell maker. Check-in at Le Grand du Lac in Vevey. Resting time. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7 : Morning chocolate class at Cailler / Afternoon tour to Gruyeres and Pays d'Enhaut National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Broc (about 40mn drive). Chocolate making class starting at 10:30am for 1h30, and visit to the chocolate factory. Lunch at La Pinte des Mossettes newly Michelin-star awarded restaurant at Chef Romain Pailleron (10 km). Afternoon quiet walking tour to Gruyères picturesque village. Transfer to Vevey. Resting time / Spa. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 : Lavaux Unesco site / Michelin-star*** lunch in Crissier
Morning time free. Gourmet lunch at Michelin-star*** Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville in Crissier. Afternoon tour to Lavaux outstanding vineyards listed at the Unesco world heritage. Dinner at The Fork on the Water in Vevey. Overnight.
Day 9 & 10 : A two-day excursion by train to Zermatt.
- After breakfast, walk to the rail station (10 minutes). We will take the 10:05am train to Visp. Then experience the Glacier Express to Zermatt at altitude 1600 m. Check-in at Mont Cervin palace hotel around 1pm. Lunch in Zermatt (restaurant to be confirmed). Afternoon discovery of Zermatt old village and enjoy the Spa then. Dinner an overnight.
- On Monday morning, after breakfast, time free in Zermatt for relaxing and shopping. Lunch in Zermatt before taking the early afternoon train to Brig and Vevey then. Arrival in Vevey around 6pm. Resting time. Dinner et overnight at the Grand Hotel du Lac (GHDL)
Day 11 : Excursion to Lake Thunersee and its beautiful villages / Independance Day celebration at the GHD.
After breakfast, transfer to Thoune and Oberhofen for a villages and landscapes sightseeing. Walking tours of the villages. Lunch. Afternoon back to Vevey. Time free at the hotel (Spa, pool, resting time, etc.). Dinner celebration. Overnight.
Day 12 : Montreux & Chateau de Chillon
After breakfast, visit to Chaplin's World museum in Vevey. Then, transfer to Montreux. Lunch. Visit to the picturesque Chateau de Chillon on the Lake, and afternoon tour and shopping in Montreux. Farewell dinner at Denis Martin Michelin-star** restaurant in Vevey (Grande Table du Monde). Overnight at GHDL.
Day 13 : Transfer to Geneva airport. End of the tour.
Check-out after breakfast. Transfer to Geneva airport (flight to be confirmed). End of the tour.